Skip to main content

Scheduled Monument record MDR1557 - Earthwork, south-west of Arbor Low, Middleton and Smerrill

Type and Period (3)

  • (Late Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 3000 BC? to 701 BC?)
  • (Late Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 3000 BC? to 701 BC?)
  • ? (Late Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 701 BC)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

SK 1572 6324 to SK 1602 6351. A bank averaging 0.45 metres high and a silted ditch commences at the south-west side of Arbor Low and extends for a considerable distance in a straight line in a westerly direction. Opposite Gib Hill and about a hundred yards from it, it curves to the north and passes on to the north-west where it is lost. A great portion is either obliterated or presents but faint traces. The junction with Arbor Low was examined and showed it to be of the same date or later (and likely to be much later). (1, 2, 4) Earthwork. (3). The published survey (25") was revised. Field report of 19th August 1952 is correct. (See map diagram). (5) Abutting the henge [SMR 10108] to the south-south-west is a low bank and ditch traditionally known as 'the avenue'. Gray investigated the earthwork discovering that it terminated at the bank edge of the henge and was therefore contemporary with it. The flints found however may be residual and cannot be used to date the feature. It seems unlikely that the 'avenue' is a formal structure related to the henge as it does not lead to one of the entrances. It may be an ancient field boundary built at a later date than the henge. (6) Arbor Low became a scheduled monument on the 12th July 1884. For full description see scheduling record. Below is the part of the description relating to the bank and ditch feature. Leading southwards from the henge is a bank and ditch which extends for c.150 metres. To the south of this, a further section turns westward through Gib Hill plantation and is c.200 metres long. Between the two there is a gap of c.70 metres which contains no visible earthworks but may contain the buried remains of an intervening section of bank and ditch: however, this area is not included in the scheduling as the extent and state of survival of the remains is not sufficiently understood. In both upstanding sections of the earthwork, the bank is two to three metres wide and less than one metre high while the shallow ditch is c. six metres wide and lies to the east of the bank. Gray carried out an excavation at the junction of the bank with the henge and found it to be later than or contemporary with the latter. Despite its sometimes being referred to as "the avenue", the feature is not thought to be a formal structure related to the henge as it does not lead to an entrance. Instead it is interpreted as a field boundary and has yet to be precisely dated. (7) In March 2012, a geophysical survey was undertaken as part of the Arbor Low Environs Project. Both gradiometer and resistivity surveys were undertaken in and around the scheduled area associated with the prehistoric avenue linked to the complex. The results of the survey revealed a continuation of the avenue ditch and bank for at least another 100 metres to the west of the point it was previously thought to have finished. Although it is not seen to be continuing in the neighbouring field, it is unlikely that the ditch and bank would respect the boundaries of the later field wall, and it is therefore appropriate to assume that the avenue does in fact continue on past this field. Due to more modern quarrying activity interfering with the monument in this area, it is unclear as to where the avenue runs past this point, and further work would be required to determine this. (8)

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Article in serial: Brushfield, T N. 1900. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. Volume 6 (N.S.). pp 134-135.
  • <2> Article in serial: Gray, H S G. 1902. 'Arbor Low Stone Circle: Excavation in 1901 and 1902', Archaeologia. Volume 58 (26?). pp 482-486.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1955. 6".
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Thomas, N. 1960. A Guide to Prehistoric England. p 66.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: F1 BHS 29-MAR-66.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Barnatt, J (PDNPA). 1993. Upper Oldhams Farm, Stanton Estate Land, Middleton-by-Youlgreave, Derbyshire, archaeological survey, 1993, archaeological interpretation. p 38.
  • <7> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1994. Scheduling Notification: Arbor Low henge, large irregular stone circle, linear bank and bowl barrow.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Parker Heath, I, Cheetham, P & Shaw, L. 2013. Geophysical Survey Report, Arbor Low Environs Project: Gib Hill Barrow.



Grid reference Centred SK 1584 6336 (375m by 294m) (Centred on)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (6)

  • EDR354
  • EDR3711
  • EDR2626
  • EDR3613
  • EDR3091
  • EDR1483

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Aug 1 2020 1:52PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.